Kyle Beach: NHL Cleanup Must Start At The Top

I cannot say enough about how much I respect Kyle Beach for coming out to tell his story, how brave he is and how much respect I have for him for doing that. My heart goes out to him for what he has gone through and what he’s still going through by shining a light on this horrible story. Hat’s off to those who have spoken out about it and shame on Brad Aldrich and those who covered for him at the time and all these years since then. How can you live with yourself?

In the 107 pages report from Reid J. Shar, all of the people involved were named. Most apparently don’t work in the NHL anymore, but many still do. Shar interviewed 139 people including the victim and the assaillant, Brad Aldrich. We will spare the details of what he allegedly did to Beach but a quick internet search will fill you in about the details if you must know.

The worst part in all of this, the most outrageous and frustrating part, is the coverup job done by the Blackhawks, the NHLPA and the NHL. Details of the involvement of each group is listed either in the report or in the interview for which I have posted at the end of this article.

Heads must be rolling

Of course, I don’t mean that literally. But every single person involved in covering up must, at the very least, lose their privilege of working in the NHL. Stan Bowman has since “stepped down” as the Blackhawks’ GM. But all those decision-makers who were in that Blackhawks’ meeting, those at the NHL and NHLPA level, must suffer the same consequences. Florida Panthers’ head coach Joel Quenneville and Winnipeg Jets’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, who were in the meeting about the Beach/Aldrich situation, should not be allowed to work in the NHL anymore.

But it goes beyond that. If what Beach says is true, it also includes NHLPA head honcho Donald Fehr and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. That’s the right thing to do. That’s accountability for their actions (or inactions in this case), for the extremely poor decisions they made in this case. They supposedly knew about it and swept it under the rug. It was THEIR responsibility to act upon. They apparently did not, choosing instead to turn a blind eye.

But we all know that the likeliness of seeing some NHL top executives getting fired is minimal. What other proof do you need than seeing the ridiculous $2 million fine the NHL has issued to the Chicago Blackhawks for covering up this story? What is $2 million for a rich NHL team like the Blackhawks?!?

Because of that coverup botched job, and with positive references from the Blackhawks, Aldrich worked as an assistant-coach at Houghton High School and was convicted in 2013 in Houghton, Michigan of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a former student who played on that hockey team. This was totally preventable. The fault is not on Kyle Beach, but on the adults who felt like hockey was more important than the allegations and predatory behaviour of “one of them”.

Bergevin cleared

Marc Bergevin, as most of you know, was employed by the Blackhawks in 2008 and at the time of the events in 2010, he was the team’s director of pro personnel. Based on the findings by Reid J. Shar, Bergevin was not part of the decision-making group and was unaware of the situation. He was therefore cleared of any wrong doing in this case.

“It came out recently. There was a meeting that I heard that was done in Chicago. I was not part of any meeting, and I was not part of any decision based on that. And I was not aware of anything going on at the time. So you can go on the record with that.” ~ Marc Bergevin, June 27, 2021

If you have not seen this AMAZING interview, I strongly suggest you take the 25 minutes to do so. It’s gut wrenching as reporter Rick Westhead is doing a fantastic job interviewing Kyle Beach.